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Monday, May 9, 2011

New York Times Editorial "They Should Be Condemning Syria": Unbounded Naïveté (II)

Today, in an editorial entitled "They Should Be Condemning Syria" (, The New York Times informs us that Syria should not be elected later this month to the United Nations Human Rights Council:

"It is outrageous that Syria is even being discussed for membership. Since the uprising began more than seven weeks ago, President Bashar al-Assad’s security apparatus has repeatedly responded with deadly force, including firing live ammunition at a funeral and seizing critically wounded demonstrators from a hospital. Hundreds are believed to have been killed, including 14 on Sunday. Thousands have been arrested or are missing.

. . . .

Electing Syria would make a mockery of the Council — one from which it might never be able to recover. And it would make a mockery of all the countries that voted for Syria. Syria must be dropped from the slate."

The New York Times would have us believe that it is still possible to "make a mockery of the Council"; however, this is hardly imaginable, given its past history:

• Since its creation in 2006 and until 2010, the UNHRC has condemned Israel in 32 resolutions.
• These 32 resolutions comprise some 48% of all resolutions passed by the Council.
• In 2006, alleged human rights abuses by Israel were made a permanent feature of every UNHRC session.
• As of April 2007, Israel was the only country to be specifically condemned by the UNHRC.

Syria's election to the UNHRC is very much in keeping with this august organization's raison d'être, and instead of protesting Syrian membership, The New York Times should instead be reviewing the 2009 decision by the Obama administration to join the Council.

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